How many fools does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Fools always travel in ships.
There are the fools of Gotham.
There are Shakesperean fools.
There are people who are surrounded by fools.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Today, I have the phrase for me:
I am a sad fool.
I cannot escape my own ignorance. I can choose many actions, and all of them seem foolish to me. No choice appears to be a wise one. There are times when this is so, situations when you cannot come out like a hero.
Not everyone is the hero. The rest of us are Rosencrantz and Gildenstern, bit parts, left confused and out of the major action.
I love that play, “Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are dead.” It brings up all kind of questions about what the HECK we are trying to accomplish in this big wide world that has big important things happening that WE CANNOT AFFECT very much.
Then there’s Billy Joel’s song “We didn’t Start the Fire.” We are left with the result of a history which, through hindsight, we would not have chosen.
And it doesn’t matter. Remember the Jeff Goldblum character in Jurrasic Park? Chaos theory…Just one drop of water can move across a person’s skin in different ways, moved by invisible, imperceptible pulls and tugs.
Choice is so powerful! That’s what Tony Robbins says! That’s what Viktor Frankl says.
And it is still not quite powerful enough. It is certainly not all-powerful.
So I, like King Lear, can rage against the storm and affirm the choices I have made. But that doesn’t mean they were right. And it doesn’t mean they affect as much as I want them to.
But that doesn’t excuse me from trying and trying. And trying and trying.
And that is what makes me a sad fool. Sad, as in pathetic. What hope, what importance have I, in the scheme of human history?
Just as much as anyone else. Maybe. And that isn’t very much.
But at the same time, it’s everything.
Every day is the day to get up, in spite of what seems to be futility. That drop of water might be affected by my striving, by my will.
And yet, it’s good for me to know that my choices are not that powerful. That I should be humble, knowing that I am a pathetic slob trying to make something of myself and leave a little scratch on the planet that makes it better, not worse.
And it’s good for me to know that I am a fool, so I can laugh at my foolishness, and have patience with the pitiful effects of my scratching.
For we know, from the beginning, what good does pride do anyone? never has. So, I’ll be the hopelessly hopeful. I’ll be the optimistic pessimist. And I’ll laugh and my sad foolishness, and in laughing, I’ll find the strength to keep on.